What Are The Optimal Ketone Levels For A Ketogenic Diet?
If you’ve just started a ketogenic diet, then you’ll know that it can be really tough to figure out if you’re doing keto right. Am I eating too many carbs? Too much protein? Should I still be feeling tired? When is the fat burning supposed to start? It’s confusing, and one of the most confusing aspects is what your optimal ketone levels are supposed to be. Unlike most other diets, the ketogenic diet is designed to put your body into a state of ketosis in order to get your body to start burning ketones instead of the glucose that it usually burns when you eat a high carb standard American diet (SAD). But to know whether you’re in ketosis and whether your body has enough ketones circulating for you to use as energy instead of glucose, you have to measure your actual ketone levels and then determine whether they’re high enough for you to be reaping the benefits of the ketogenic diet. If you’ve tried searching for this information already, then you’ll know that there’s some controversy depending on which expert you follow. So in this article, we’ll tell you exactly what the different experts are suggesting are the optimal ketone levels as well as give you recommendations for what ketone levels you should be aiming for depending on your goals with a ketogenic diet. A Few Quick Notes Before We Start… If you’re looking for signs other than testing your actual body ketone levels as to whether you’re in ketosis or not, then please check out this article instead that provides you with signs you’re in ketosis. If you’re a type 1 diabetic, then this article is not for you and the optimal ketone levels suggested below are not applicable to you. Please check out the tons of other ketone level articles on the web to ensure your ketone levels do not reach Continue reading >>
When And How Should You Measure Ketosis?
If you are following a low carbohydrate diet that is based on the ketogenic principles then measuring if you are in ketosis may be an important goal for you. There are times when measuring the specific ketone level may not be required. When is measuring ketosis really needed? My advice to people is if you are following a ketogenic diet for a therapeutic reason (such as epilepsy, cancer, MS, diabetes etc.) then measuring the ketogenic level will be important for you. This is because from the evidence that we have to date, we can see some correlation that in order for the ketogenic diet to be effective, the ketone bodies need to be consistently elevated. If you are someone that is following a ketogenic diet for weight loss, then measuring ketosis through objective ways (I will go over them below), really may not be necessary. There is still this notion that I see online form various Keto Coaches that having a high ketone level in the blood or breath will automatically mean you will lose more weight. I want to say categorically that this is NOT the case. “High blood ketone levels do not automatically mean you will experience a fat loss”. In the next few weeks I will detail in a weekly email exactly why this is the case but for now back to the topic of how to measure ketosis. How to measure ketosis? Subjective Measurements: There are several ways in which you can detect if you are in a ketogenic range. The first way is looking at more subjective measurements. What I mean by this is measurements that focuses more on how you are feeling. In the beginning, you can experience certain symptoms including: nausea, headaches, fatigue, bad breath and weak legs. These symptoms are a sign that your body is now switching from using glucose to using fat for energy. Another subjectiv Continue reading >>
The Signs Of Ketosis On Atkins Diets
The Atkins diet, first published in 1972 and reinvented 20 years later, has helped countless people lose weight, but isn't without controversy. The diet severely limits your intake of carbohydrates -- found in sugar, bread, pasta, most fruits, starchy vegetables and many processed snacks -- to encourage your body to lose fat. Often, this pushes you into a state of ketosis, a process that occurs when you burn fat for fuel. Video of the Day Ketosis isn't inherently harmful, but in some cases can lead to a build up of the ketone bodies, causing dehydration and changes in your blood chemistry. Though a blood test is the most accurate way to determine if you're in ketosis, certain other physical changes provide clues that you're in this state. Ketosis and the Atkins Diet Your body usually uses glucose, derived from carbohydrates, for energy -- particularly to fuel the brain. Ketones are produced when you're short on carbohydrates and must burn fat for fuel. When you produce ketones for energy, you are in ketosis. Phase One, or the "Induction Phase," of Atkins will likely cause you to produce ketones. During these first two weeks, you consume no more than 20 grams of carbohydrates per day. This represents a significant restriction in carbohydrates -- the Institute of Medicine recommends you eat 45 to 65 percent of your daily calories from carbs, or 225 to 325 grams daily on a standard 2,000-calorie diet. To meet your low-carb limit, the Atkins diet has you subsist primarily on meats, fish, poultry, eggs, oils, some cheese and watery, fibrous vegetables with few carbohydrates, such as lettuce and cucumbers. Breath and Urine Signs of Ketosis Ketones are burned for energy, but also breathed out through the lungs and excreted in the urine. As a result, your breath takes on a frui Continue reading >>
10 Signs And Symptoms That You're In Ketosis
The ketogenic diet is a popular, effective way to lose weight and improve health. When followed correctly, this low-carb, high-fat diet will raise blood ketone levels. These provide a new fuel source for your cells, and cause most of the unique health benefits of this diet (1, 2, 3). On a ketogenic diet, your body undergoes many biological adaptions, including a reduction in insulin and increased fat breakdown. When this happens, your liver starts producing large amounts of ketones to supply energy for your brain. However, it can often be hard to know whether you're "in ketosis" or not. Here are 10 common signs and symptoms of ketosis, both positive and negative. People often report bad breath once they reach full ketosis. It's actually a common side effect. Many people on ketogenic diets and similar diets, such as the Atkins diet, report that their breath takes on a fruity smell. This is caused by elevated ketone levels. The specific culprit is acetone, a ketone that exits the body in your urine and breath (4). While this breath may be less than ideal for your social life, it can be a positive sign for your diet. Many ketogenic dieters brush their teeth several times per day, or use sugar-free gum to solve the issue. If you're using gum or other alternatives like sugar-free drinks, check the label for carbs. These may raise your blood sugar levels and reduce ketone levels. The bad breath usually goes away after some time on the diet. It is not a permanent thing. The ketone acetone is partly expelled via your breath, which can cause bad or fruity-smelling breath on a ketogenic diet. Ketogenic diets, along with normal low-carb diets, are highly effective for losing weight (5, 6). As dozens of weight loss studies have shown, you will likely experience both short- and long Continue reading >>
Ketogenic Diet Faq
With all the new people finding, switching, and transitioning into a low carb diet, I figured it was about time I put together an FAQ on all the common questions that are asked when someone is starting out. I don’t go too in depth in the answers, but I tried to give a direct answer and then link to a more in depth article on the topic to help you fully understand it. If you have any other questions you’d like to be added, changed, or are unsure about – please feel free to leave a comment below so I can fully explain, or make changes to the answers on this page. Best wishes, and to all the new people out there – good luck and happy dieting! Frequently Asked Questions Click any of the questions below and it will take you to the answer. How Long Does It Take To Get Into Ketosis? A ketogenic diet is not a diet that you can whimfully choose to go on and off of at any point. It takes time for your body to adjust and go into a state known as ketosis. This process? Anywhere from 2 – 7 days, depending on your body type, activity levels, and what you’re eating. The fastest way to get into ketosis is to exercise on an empty stomach, restrict your carbohydrate intake to 20g or less per day, and be vigilant with your water intake. To improve the rate at which you enter ketosis, there is a method called Fat Fasting. I’ve written an article on Fat Fasting on a Ketogenic Diet and everything involved with it. Make sure that if you use this method, it is only for a few days, otherwise it can bring harm to you. Where Can I Find Low Carb Recipes? Everywhere on the internet! There’s recipes on almost every health website nowadays, and a quick Google of what you want will definitely help you out. You can even convert high carb recipes that use sugar or fruits in them to low c Continue reading >>
The Beginners Guide To Ketosis: Investigating Low-carb, High-fat Eating
The only hard and fast rule of health is that health is personal and what works well for one person may not work for someone else. Aside from that rule, there are “frameworks” that seem to benefit large groups of people. One more level down from that are alternative strategies that benefit smaller groups. Ketosis is likely one of those alternative strategies that works well for certain, smaller groups of people. So, right off the bat I want you to understand that Ketosis might not be for everyone. I’m going to lay out the case for potential benefits of Ketosis. If it sounds interesting and beneficial to you, then consider trying it. (see our free cheat sheet to help you). What is Ketosis Ketosis occurs when liver glycogen gets depleted and the body burns fatty acids for fuel. The primary driver of this state is a very low carbohydrate intake. Often, it also requires a low protein, higher fat intake. You can also achieve a state of ketosis by not eating altogether. The creation of ketones is a byproduct of this metabolic state. Ketones are a source of fuel, just as glucose is a source of fuel. Ketones tend to have some added benefits, though. What role does Ketosis play in human health? Ketosis allows our bodies to function in the absence of carbohydrates, both physically and mentally. Instead of burning carbohydrates, or converting protein to glucose, the body burns ketones. This is pretty much a survival mechanism. It allows your body to function in a state of caloric deprivation. This is why ketosis often gets bad press (as it’s linked to “starvation”). Being a survival mechanism doesn’t make it invalid as a strategy, though. There can still be potential benefits to be had. Let’s cover a few of them… Ketosis and Accelerated Fat Loss Being in ketosis Continue reading >>
When Do I Know If I’m In Ketosis?
Those on a Keto diet eat foods high in fat, moderate in protein and low in carbs in order to get the process of Ketosis to kick into place. When Do I Know If I’m In Ketosis? Ketosis occurs when you stop burning carbs as fuel and you start burning ‘ketones’. Click here to read more about the process Ketosis. One of the major benefits of ketosis is that is helps us to burn fat and therefore lose weight. Unfortunately there is no red light which flashes to tell us that are our bodies are in Ketosis (wouldn’t this be handy). There are kits which you can supposedly purchase in the chemist which indicate if your body is in Ketosis, but how reliable these are I am not sure. The natural way to test is to look out for signs and symptoms which can give us clues: Bad Breath Acetone, a ketone that is found in our urine and breath is more prevalent on the Ketone Diet because the levels of it in our bodies are higher. It can be unpleasant and leave a nasty taste in your mouth which some describe to be fruity or a metal-like taste. Strong Smelling Urine Again, because the levels of acetone in your body are increased as above, it is likely that you will notice in increase in the smell of your urine. It can appear to be more pungent than normal. Decrease in Appetite When in Ketosis, it isn’t uncommon to feel less hungry than normal. The scientific reasons behind this are unknown, but it could be due to the increase in protein and fibers from the vegetables that you may be eating. The body’s hormone levels are also likely to undergo a change whilst on this diet as your body can better regulate your hormones which tell your body when you’re hungry. When you over eat and fill up on carbs, your brain ignores the hormone which is often why you feel like your stomach is an empty Continue reading >>
How To Know If You’re In Ketosis: A Guide To Testing Ketone Levels
Ketosis can be a powerful way to use your metabolism for fat loss, mental output, physical performance as well as many other health benefits. But how do you know if you’re actually in ketosis? As the old adage goes “test, don’t guess” when it comes to your health. In this guide, we’ll show exactly how to test your ketone levels to know if you’re in ketosis so you can make sure you’re getting all of the benefits that ketosis has to offer. There are three primary forms of ketones in your body, acetone, acetoacetate, and beta-hydroxybutryate. Each of these compounds do different things in the metabolism of ketosis and can be tested individually with differing techniques. Not all measurement is created equally, however, and some can be better than others for different purposes or times. The three different ketone bodies can be measured when they spill over into three different areas of your body: your breath, urine or blood. The good news is that all of these ketone level measurements can be done at home, by yourself. You don’t have to go to any lab or use any fancy high tech equipment. Tracking diligently, at least when you’re getting used to ketosis based diets, is important so you know how much you react to different variables like exercise, type and amount of food, and amounts of exogenous ketone supplements. Also, the optimal level of ketones for specific goals can vary per person. Knowing the amount where you thrive in the goal you want to achieve (and consistently checking if you’re hitting that amount) is the fastest way to reach your goals. Testing levels of ketones with urine strips (acetoacetate) One of the ketone bodies, acetoacetate, can be measured directly in the urine if they are in excessive levels. The way metabolic substrates get into Continue reading >>
How To Burn Stored Body Fat — A Ketosis Primer
“So, how do you tell your body to start burning stored body fat?” my friend and fellow mother asked. “Cut the carbs,” answered another mom. “I go into ketosis just about every afternoon.” “Ketosis? Isn’t that bad for you?” The short answer? No. I talk to a lot of people who want to lose weight. They try all sorts of things — exercise, calorie restriction, you name it. Sometimes, they lose the weight. Inevitably, they gain it back. That’s because what they’re doing is going on a diet — a temporary fix at best. What they need is a lifestyle change, a perspective shift, a new paradigm. Of course, you all know the paradigm I espouse — a conversion to eating real, traditional foods. Yet even a conversion to eating real food won’t necessarily help the pounds melt away. If you’re still eating 200 grams of carbohydrates a day — even if they’re “traditional” carbohydrates like sprouted or soaked grains, unrefined sweeteners, etc, you’re not going to lose weight without making some serious changes. If your body is regularly storing body fat (you gain a little bit of weight each year), then something is wrong with how your body metabolizes food. Let me introduce you to a new concept: the body fat setpoint. The body fat setpoint is the mass of body fat that your body attempts to defend against changes in either direction. It’s your body’s attempt to maintain homeostasis. This is why if you exercise more, you eat more. It’s also why if you restrict calories, your metabolism slows down to compensate. Why should you care about the body fat setpoint? From Stephan at Whole Health Source: We care because this has some very important implications for human obesity. With such a powerful system in place to keep body fat mass in a narrow range, Continue reading >>
How To Identify Ketosis
Expert Reviewed Ketosis is a normal metabolic process by which your body breaks down stored fat for energy, which can also result in a dangerous buildup of ketones in the body called ketoacidosis. Ketosis is often the product of a low-carbohydrate diet that people use to lose weight and gain muscle or it can also be a product of malnutrition. Although the long-term risks of ketosis are not clear, there is some evidence that it can increase your risk of heart disease and certain cancers. By recognizing the signs of ketosis, you can help minimize your risk for developing ketoacidosis. Continue reading >>
8 Signs You’re In Ketosis
If you’re eating a low carb diet, are you wondering if you’re actually in ketosis? Here are some signs that you may be burning fat for fuel. When I first started a low carb, high fat way of eating, I felt horrible! I’m not going to sugarcoat it. The first few days of cutting my carbs were rough. I felt tired and a little nauseous, like I had the flu. The first time I tried going low carb and felt this way, I decided to quit because I thought my body didn’t like cutting the carbs and adding in the fats. But the second time I cut my carbs, I Googled “feeling like crap without carbs” and low and behold…it’s actually a thing! It’s called the Keto Flu! Once I knew that, it all made so much sense to me. The reason I was feeling like garbage is because my body was switching from being a sugar burner to a fat burner. My body was no longer being constantly supplied with glucose for fuel (from carbs.) It kept looking for that glucose to burn, so when my body didn’t have it, it revolted! It took about a week of flu like symptoms for my body to finally realize that “hey, we have another source of fuel…FAT!” Once my body started burning fat for fuel, I felt so much better! And I mean, SO much better! I had more energy, better focus, less hunger, less cravings. On a ketogenic diet, your body undergoes many biological adaptions, including a reduction in insulin and increased fat breakdown. When this happens, your liver starts producing large amounts of ketones to supply energy for your brain. So how does a person know if they are actually in ketosis and using ketones for energy? Main Signs Of Ketosis: Dry Mouth/Bad Breath Some people report that they have really bad breath or a dry mouth when in ketosis. You may feel like you have a metallic taste in your mou Continue reading >>
How Do I Know If I Am In Ketosis?
[Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. If you choose to purchase something by using one of those links, I may receive a small financial compensation, at no cost to you.] Ketone testing strips are not reliable, so it can often be difficult to know if you are in ketosis, especially, if you are not losing weight as quickly as you had hoped. Weight loss isn't a sign of being in ketosis, so even if the scale isn't moving, you could still be using dietary fats to fuel your daily activities. To put your mind at ease, we have put together a list of the signs and symptoms of ketosis for you, as well as advice on what you can do to be more comfortable during Atkins Induction. "How do I know if I am in ketosis?" I have been getting quite a few emails and comments lately from people who have been asking me if they are in ketosis. After a bit of discussion back and forth, the conversation usually reveals that: 1) The ketone strips that Dr. Atkins recommended are only turning pink; and 2) They are not losing much weight. Both of the above ideas show a misunderstanding about: the purpose of ketosis weight loss and low-carb diets So, I went searching through the archives to see what I had already written on the topic. During that extensive search, I found this old post on how to tell if you are in ketosis. This post was originally written in 2012. It contained a bullet list of symptoms that could help you know if you are in ketosis. It also explained what you can do to ease the symptoms and make yourself more comfortable while going through the change. I decided that since so many of you are struggling and don't know if you are in ketosis, or not, I would give the post a major overhaul. I wanted it to accurately reflect what we know about ketosis today. Many people believ Continue reading >>
7 Signs You Are In Ketosis
The Ketogenic Diet (also known as “keto”) has been all over social media. You’ve probably seen ripped fitness models claiming that Keto gave them their physique, and the even more inspiration stories of normal people like you and me, who lost weight and reclaimed their lives through this diet called Keto. If you’re not sure what the Ketogenic Diet is, head on over to What is a Keto Diet? (Ketogenic Diet 101). Over there I’ve detailed what exactly Keto is and isn’t, given you meal plans, snacks, and answered all of your questions about the diet. But let’s say you’ve jumped into Keto with both feet, and now you want to know “Is this working?” I don’t blame you. It can be hard to tell what’s going on inside your body. Are you in Ketosis? Are you eating few enough carbs? Are you shedding fat? Well, there are 7 obvious ways to tell if you’re in ketosis, without testing your blood or urine. Here are the signs you’re in Ketosis: 1. Weight Loss Weight loss is the first and most obvious sign that you’re in ketosis. The weight loss happens for a variety of reasons, but it’s important to note that it’s very fast in the beginning. This is because when you switch to a low-carb diet, your muscles start losing water. Carbohydrates are what bind water to your muscles, so when you’re not eating carbohydrates, your muscles start dumping them, and the attached water. That’s one of the things that causes Keto Flu (which you can read about in Keto 101), but drinking plenty of water and keeping your salt intake up will keep you hydrated and feeling healthy. After the initial water leaving your body, then you’ll start to see steady fat loss. Related Reading: My 60 Day Keto Challenge Results (I lost 23 pounds!) 2. Little or No Appetite When you stop eati Continue reading >>
How To Detect Ketosis
How can you tell if your low-carbing efforts have been effective enough to induce ketosis? Learn how to check your ketones! The state of ketosis The state of ketosis means that the body has switched from depending on carbohydrates for energy to burning fats for fuel. This means not only dietary fats (olive oil, guacamole, deep-fried pig ears), but also all the jiggly bits around your waist — clearly a desirable state for anyone looking to shed extra weight. When the body metabolizes fat, it generates molecules called ketones (also known as ketone bodies). As you restrict carbohydrate intake and amp up the dietary fat, more fat is metabolized and a greater quantity of ketones are created. Most of the cells in your body — including those in your brain — are able to use ketones for energy, although many people experience a few days’ adjustment period, often called the low carb flu. One of the varieties of ketones generated — acetone — cannot be used by the body and is excreted as waste, mostly in the urine and the breath. Conveniently, this makes it very simple to measure whether or not you are in ketosis. Upon entering ketosis, some people report a distinct change in the smell of their breath as a result of the extra released acetone. It could be “fruity” — it’s been likened to overripe apples — or even “metallic.” If you notice this happening during your first few days of changing your diet, it could be a good sign you’re in ketosis. The unusual smell isn’t anything dangerous, but it could be annoying. Drinking plenty of water should help, or get yourself some sugar-free gum. Most people report “keto-breath” diminishing after the first few weeks. Detecting ketones in urine The more accurate way — and the one we recommend — to check f Continue reading >>
7 Signs You Might Be In Ketosis When Doing The Ketogenic Diet
One of the main goals of starting the ketogenic diet is to get your body into a metabolic state known as ketosis. Note: If you don’t know what the ketogenic is all about then check out the Ketogenic Diet: Beginner’s Guide to Keto and Weight Loss. This is when your body starts to produce a lot of ketones to supply energy for your body. Why is this good? Because it means your body has converted from a sugar-burner to a fat-burner. If your body is burning fat for energy then something amazing starts to happen. The fat on your body starts to disappear. But how do you know when you’re in ketosis? Besides using test strips or an instrument there are some signs that your body will give. 7 Signs You Might Be in Ketosis These don’t 100% guarantee that your body is in ketosis but if it is in ketosis then these signs will appear. 1. Weight Loss One of the obvious signs of ketosis is weight loss but this can also be pretty deceptive because many people don’t experience the kind of weight loss that they expect. This can happen for a variety of reasons but when you get close to entering ketosis or do enter ketosis you’ll find that you lose a healthy amount of weight quickly. For example, when you switch to low carbs you usually experience significant weight loss in the first week. In fact, my wife lost 12 lbs in the first 28 days of Keto and I lost 13. This isn’t your body burning fat but finally being able to release the water that was being held by the fat cells. If your fat cells don’t release this water then they can’t flow through the bloodstream to be used as fuel so losing water weight is a good thing. After the initial rapid drop in water weight, you should continue to lose body fat consistently if you are able to stick with the low-carb aspects of the diet Continue reading >>